TAIN THISTLE have won the Graham Jardine Memorial Quaich for the second time in three years last night in what was a great advert for the Ross-shire Welfare league - the experience of Thistle pitted against the youthful determination of a very good Balintore side.It took until the 55th minute for Tain to break the deadlock after a first half with chances at either end and the woodwork doing its best to thwart both teams. Cameron Mackintosh had the all important final touch on a well worked move that saw Mark Lamont draw James Metcalfe away from goal far enough for Cammy to tap home at the far post. Up until this point, Metcalfe had seemed unbeatable in the Balintore goal.Twenty minutes later, Liam Rostock found Mark Lamont with a throw in, and the Thistle top scorer nodded the ball home at the far post. The floodgates opened and Rostock himself got on the scoresheet two minutes later. Lamont hit his 44th goal of the season moments later, slotting the ball home after a quick one-two to round off the scores.Post-match, Jim Jardine and his grandsons Louis and Robbie, gathered in the centre circle for a photograph with both teams.The win of course hands Thistle the Quaich yet again, but also resulted in three points in the league campaign - and a place in the Pattisons' Challenge Cup final - which will Tain will host next Saturday.
With only ten members of the club's regular squad available for the trip to Invergordon today, stand in manager Dave Murray drafted in Kevin Munro and Scott Stirling for Thistle's first round Pattisons' Challenge Cup first round match against Invergordon Social Club.An own goal opened the scoring for Tain in the first half, before Mark Lamont doubled the Jags' lead. A goal for Jack Hudson made it 3-0 at half time. A Social Club fight back gave Tain cause for concern in the second half, with the score being reduced to 3-2, however a late goal for Lamont made it 4-2 and put the game beyond doubt.In learning their semi final opponents, Thistle now await the result of the first round match between Balintore and Eastern Rose, which will be played on Monday night.
Tain Thistle put themselves in pole position as far as the title race goes thanks to a 3-1 win over rivals Contin at the Links on Wednesday, leaving the championship in their own hands, three points behind with two games in hand.Jack Hudson put Tain in the lead after fifteen minutes when he rose above Ali Maclean to head the ball in the net. Maclean was in good form again for his side, having collected the man of the match award in the Seaboard final four days prior, keeping a number of chances out as Thistle piled on the pressure. On 38 minutes a series of corners paid off for Thistle as an Arron Christie cross was deflected past Maclean by Cammy Bell to make it 2-0. Three minutes before the break, Mark Lamont opened his account with a simple finish to a one on one chance to give the Jags a commanding half time lead.A tense second half saw Contin get back into the game and offer some sign of life left in the game and a goal eventually arrived through Jamal Ali, the midfielder turning the ball past Johnny Allan shortly before the hour. The visitors soon lost hope though when Fraser Heath was dismissed for a second yellow card during an altercation with David Murray; Murray was also booked during the incident. Mark Lamont had two golden opportunities to put the game beyond doubt late on but clever play from Maclean was enough to prevent further scoring.
TAIN THISTLE have retained the Seaboard Cup, following a tightly contested match against league rivals Contin at Balintore's Seaboard Park on Saturday, which ultimately ended in a goal rout for the Jags.Naming the sixteen man squad was no easy task for manager Daniel Cormack, despite captain Daniel Christie still enjoying post-wedding nuptials and Dave Murray unavailable. Liam Rostock returned from injury, while Arron Christie, Darran Goller and Dave Macgruer all returned to the side. Also returning to the squad, Adam MacDonald and Martyn Farquhar took up a place on the bench.Games between Contin and Thistle have been close all season, and therefore it was a surprise when it appeared that the attack minded Jags grabbed an early foothold on the game and looked as though they may go on a rout. Mark Lamont opened the scoring after just six minutes when he hit the back of the net with a shot across the face of goal, guided through a busy six yard box and past the outstretched arms of Ali Maclean.Maclean quickly began writing the script for a hero's performance though as he pulled off a number of saves. Denying Lamont on two occasions in quick succession, the Contin custodian kept the score at 0-1 throughout a first half in which Thistle had both possession and the elements in their favour.A long clearance ultimately handed Contin a lifeline just on the stroke of half time when they found themselves through on goal with three forwards to Thistle's one defender. The Munro Park men did the needful and Ryan Dow secured the final touch to a simple move to beat Johnny Allan and level the scores.The second half kicked off and the wind was now in Contin's favour and it showed as they began to pester Thistle's back three. Allan escaped embarrassment when he was nearly beaten at his near post with a shot off the upright as Contin passed up a chance to take the lead. A formation change calmed things down for Tain as they looked to reassert their authority, and that they did on the hour mark, Lamont again forcing Maclean to produce a save, and Ryan Day heading into the clutches of Maclean soon after. Ten minutes later, Thistle restored their lead after assistant referee Barry Stuart flagged for a foul on Darran Goller in the eighteen yard box. Stepping up, Mark Lamont made no mistake with the resultant spot kick, sending the ball high into the top corner of the net.For all the wind had played a factor in the game, the penalty kick had knocked all of the wind out of Contin and on 80 minutes, the impressive Darran Goller put the game beyond doubt when he cut inside with pace before sending the ball past Maclean with an expert finish.A wild few minutes followed as Cammy Mackintosh moved into a wing role and glided along the by line before laying the ball off to Lamont for his hat-trick and just moments later, substitute David MacIver was felled on the edge of the box shortly after and taking the resultant penalty award, Lamont netted his fourth to make it 5-1.With the final goal of the game, Robert Ross laid the ball to his fellow sub MacIver who volleyed the ball into the net with the goal of the match.In the end, the 6-1 result did not tell the story of a match which was very closely fought by both sides, however, Thistle were deserved of the victory, claiming their third Seaboard Cup in five years. Post-match, the trophy was presented to stand-in captain Alan Duff by sponsor's representative Gordy Lowe.
TAIN Thistle will defend their Seaboard Cup title next weekend in Balintore after reaching the final thanks to an 8-2 win over the competition hosts at the Links. Playing with an under strength eleven due to a clash with the wedding of club captain Daniel Christie, the Jags called in a handful of players to assist on the day, among them Rory Vass, Luke Cormack and Brian Cameron. Gordy Mackay made his first start since June 1st, while Robbie Ross and Dave MacIver also made returns to the first eleven.Balintore took the lead in the first half offering Thistle an early shock but the strength of the Jags' long ball paid dividends eventually as they finished the initial period 4-2 up. Mark Lamont ran the show in the second half as Tain ran out 8-2 winners, the Thistle striker taking his season tally to 35 with six on the day. Cammy Mackintosh scored two.Contin won the other semi final, beating Fortrose 2-1 and will be Tain's opponents in the Seaboard Cup Final next Saturday at 3pm.
Darran Goller was the star man as Tain Thistle cantered to an 8-2 win over Fortrose Union on Wednesday in their latest league match. They were slow to get going and took almost half an hour to break the deadlock thanks to a Dave Macgruer strike. Macgruer turned provider shortly after his pass reached Arron Christie on the right wing, who squared neatly for Goller to open his account. Goller struck again minutes later when he nipped past goalkeeper Sean Anderson and finished the chance from a tight angle. Mark Lamont made it 4-0 before half time.Goller scored three more in the second half to take his overall tally to five. Fortrose pulled a goal back when Daniel MacIver pounced on an error, before Cammy Mackintosh nodded home a Christie free kick to make it 8-1. A late goal for Fortrose's Jack Wardrop reduced the scoreline to 8-2.
Two cup games in two days for Thistle ended with two victories and a total of seventeen goals being scored at the Links during a busy Tain Gala weekend.In the Seaboard Cup 1st round on Saturday, Darran Goller hit a hat-trick against Alness United (his first since 2011), while Mark Lamont did the same, breaking his own record of goals in a season for Tain, taking his 2016 tally to 28. The other goals came from Jack Hudson and Liam Rostock (2) as the Jags recorded a more than surprising 9-0 win over one of their closest rivals. The win takes Thistle through to the semi final of the Seaboard Cup to meet Balintore.On Sunday, Tain were visited by Portsoy in the last sixteen of the Tom Hunter Memorial Highland Welfare Cup. Thistle found themselves 5-1 up at half time thanks to an opening own goal followed by goals for Darran Goller, Jack Hudson, Liam Rostock and Dave Murray from the penalty spot. Matty Smith pulled a goal back for the Morayshire side. In the second half, Rostock netted a second while Dave Macgruer scored midway through the half and Alan Duff lobbed Phil Gray, the player manager goalkeeper for Portsoy, in the dying minutes to make it 8-1. Thistle now await the quarter final cup draw in the Highland Welfare Cup.